Support Act unveil their Minimum Standards for a Healthy Music Industry guidelines

The framework looks to foster actions that "protect, respond, and promote the positive aspects of work that contribute to good mental health"

Music industry mental health charity Support Act has unveiled its Minimum Standards for a Healthy Music Industry guidelines, providing a framework for psychologically safe workplaces.

The standards look to provide proactive measures to address safety issues in the workplace, including sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying, racism, homophobia and transphobia. These measures are voluntary and self-regulated, however.

The hope for these minimum standards, according to a statement provided by Support Act, is to rectify disparities in mental well-being within the Australian music industry. In order to do this, the framework looks to foster actions that “protect, respond, and promote the positive aspects of work that contribute to good mental health” and includes “a commitment to provide workplaces that are psychologically safe”.

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The standards include a commitment to being “supportive of individual differences” such as disability, gender expression, race and ethnicity and sexual orientation, and “cultivating a work environment that fosters respect, equity, and inclusion for everyone”.

Notably, the standards include a commitment to how workplaces react to a disclosure of mental health concerns. That includes protecting those people’s privacy and confidentiality, and responding to disclosures of mental health conditions in a “compassionate, non-judgemental, supportive and respectful way that does not victimise or discriminate”.

There is also a commitment to partnering with those who disclose a mental health concern in the workplace to implement “reasonable adjustments to their role or working environment which will enable them to recover at work, in a sustainable and healthy way”.

The standards also include suggestions on combating workplace burnout and fatigue, with a commitment to “do[ing] our best to ensure that work is designed so that people can take appropriate breaks… maintain connection with family and friends, and have opportunity to look after their mental and physical health”.

Support Act’s standards were developed by music industry representatives and regulatory authorities in line with the proposed National Mental Health Commission’s National Workplace Initiative.

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Support Act CEO Clive Miller said: “Our recent research clearly articulated the need for work environments that are safe for everyone’s mental and physical health.

“It was the logical next step to produce a set of Minimum Standards that support our music business community in implementing standards that are becoming uniform across the Australian business landscape.

He continued: “[These standards] recognise that creating mentally healthy workplaces takes time and requires ongoing attention and that different workplaces may have different needs depending on their size.”

Miller encouraged everyone in the Australian music industry to show commitment “to making cultural change and to creating a sense of belonging for all in our industry” by adopting the standards. You can see the full standards and sign up here.

Support Act’s new standards come just a week after findings from the Raising Their Voices survey were published.

The independent report into sexual harassment in the Australian music industry collated the contributions of over 1,600 industry workers to find what it deemed to be “unacceptable levels of sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the contemporary music industry in Australia”.

“People in the industry are passionate and committed, but there are significant systemic risks and cultural challenges,” the report read. “These facilitate harm and unacceptable behaviour, and mean that perpetrators are rarely held to account.”

The full Raising Their Voices report can be viewed and downloaded from the report’s official website.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Support Act on 1800 959 500.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in Australia, visit the Australian Government’s Respect service or 1800RESPECT.

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